WaterStreet investors buy Coombs House Inn

Published: Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at 09:58 AM.

The deal was closed in eight weeks.

Lynn Spohrer looks back with nostalgia on her restoration work in Apalachicola.

“We bought our first house here, on the island, in 1982. We still own it. In 1990, we bought the two worst buildings in town. The Coombs House and the Cotton Exchange on Water Street. There wasn’t much going on here then. We thought this is a town, like Savannah and Mobile. It just needed somebody to start. We saw the potential charm. We thought this is a town they haven’t ruined yet.”

The Spohrers purchased the Coombs House for $110,000 after three years of negotiations. Then the real work began. The structure took two years to restore. There was no plumbing, electricity, air-conditioning or heat, only a small galley-style kitchen and one original bathroom. Most of the windows were boarded up and one entered via a board leaned against the wall.

An internationally known designer of luxury resorts, Lynn put her special branding on restoring the house while attempting to use whatever existing architectural assets were salvageable.

She said she initially envisioned the project more as a hobby than a hands-on business. In the end, the Spohrers acquired adjacent properties and expanded the inn to its current size, 46 double-occupancy rooms.

Today, the inn has been praised in reviews by newspapers including the Tallahassee Democrat, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Miami Herald and New York Times. Country Inns Magazine gave it an award for “Affordable Luxury”, Travel and Leisure Magazine named it “One of the 30 Outstanding Small Inns in the United States,” and readers of Florida Monthly Magazine voted it “The Best Bed and Breakfast Inn in Florida.”

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